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Toronto for Citywide Events

A Breakout Year for Citywide Business Events in Toronto

When you lead the country in industries such as Information and Communication Technology, Life Sciences, and more, it stands to reason that like-minded organizations would want to connect in the city where all the innovation is taking place. In Canada, that destination is Toronto. And thanks to the city’s dominance in areas such as tech, pharma, medtech, health sciences, and more, Toronto hosted a record-breaking 26 citywide conventions in 2018, topping its previous record of 18 in 2017.

"The record number of citywide conferences speaks to Toronto's place as the hub for innovation, technology, finance and business within Canada," said Johanne Bélanger, President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. "Our team at Business Events Toronto taps into Toronto's strength in these key economic sectors and uses the vibrancy of Canada's Downtown to attract these major events to the region."

Toronto’s Banner Year

The boom year for Business Events Toronto represented some 500,208 delegates and an economic spend of $565 million. Some of the key conferences, meetings and events that took place in 2018 included:

  • NU SKIN China – May 2018 (4,000 delegates) 
  • Pediatric Academic Societies – May 2018 (9,100 delegates)
  • VMWare – May 2018 (4,050 delegates) 
  • Rotary International Convention – June 2018 (24,000 delegates)
  • Enterprise World 2018 – OpenText – July 2018 (4,000 delegates) 
  • Primerica Canadian Convention – July 2018 (7,000 delegates) 
  • 19th World Conference on Lung Cancer – September 2018(7,500 delegates) 
  • Cyber Security Connect East (Palo Alto Networks) – September 2018 (3,515 delegates) 
  • Family Medicine Forum – November 2018 (3,000 delegates)

Business Events Toronto defines a citywide convention or event as one that consumes 1,100 hotel rooms on peak night, a minimum of two hotels for delegates, and the use of a convention centre or event complex.

"Business events are a thriving and vital part of our tourism industry that contributes $33 billion in direct spending in Canada, directly employs 229,000 people and $19 billion of GDP," said Heidi Welker, Chair of Meetings Means Business Canada. "Great things happen when people come together, whether in a meeting room, on a convention floor, or out experiencing a destination. Our industry within Canada and in Toronto excel at bringing people together in an exceptional way."

Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Toronto City Hall

Toronto Event - MARS

Toronto Consistently Ranks in the Top Five North American Meeting Destinations

In 2018, Toronto was named Canada's top convention destination by Cvent, and consistently ranks among the top five in North America. Toronto was also among the top-ranked destinations selected by meeting planners in the 2018 Watkins Report, which rates the most positive overall experience for major conventions in North America. 

Toronto offers planners a destination that is open, diverse and safe - a city that blends the best of Canadian inclusiveness with iconic events, attractions, restaurants, culture and festivals. The region, promoted as Canada's Downtown, is home to North America's second largest financial services centre, third largest technology sector and the country's largest combined life-sciences sector, providing access to industry thought-leaders and businesses driving innovation in their field.